My Granny was an extraordinary cook. Because her cooking was more like magic than science, she never measured anything. And throughout my life, I had the pleasure of helping and watching her.
Those moments in the kitchen were precious. She'd lean up against the sink, washing broccoli and cauliflower. She'd point to the garlic and instruct me to smash it first, then peel it. All the while telling me stories.
Like the one about her date with Frank Sinatra, when she didn't have any shoes that matched her dress, so she quick-dyed them and spent the night mortified because the dye stunk. (Yes, that's a true story. They grew up together in Hoboken, NJ.)
While she stirred her famous Granny tomato sauce, she'd impart life lessons like, "Suzanne, don't ever settle. It's far better for you to be by yourself than with the wrong man."
Silence sat warmly with us too. She'd brown her delicious meatballs and plop them in a giant pot of sauce, one by one, and then she'd turn to me, raise her eyebrows, giggle and wrap me up in a giant Granny hug.
So today, as I chop, saute, brown and simmer, I'll think of her as I cook her specialties.
What special kitchen memories do you have?